Girls with a 28-day, clockwork-like cycle don’t understand how lucky they are! Some girls are so regular that they never even have to think about their periods. But many other girls struggle with periods that come and go without warning, are absent for months at a time, or are unusually heavy or painful.
Here’s 13 things that only girls with an unstable period problem would understand.
1. You Have a Hard Time Making Plans
Whether its scheduling a romantic weekend in the mountains or penciling in a family vacation, these activities are much harder to plan if you do not know ahead of time whether or not you will be on your period.
2. You Can be Exhausted
Hormonal imbalances and periods that last longer or are heavier than they should be can leave you feeling literally and metaphorically drained, to the point where you can wake up tired even after a good night’s sleep.
3. You are at Higher Risk for Cancer
If you are not having a period at least four times a year – or go for months and months without any period at all – you can have a serious build-up of endometrium, or the lining of your uterus. This build-up can put you at a higher risk for endometrial cancer later on.
4. You Can Have More Difficulty Getting Pregnant
Unstable periods mean that you are not ovulating regularly – and this can make it difficult for you when it comes to starting a family. Some girls will have to resort to fertility treatments like Clomid or even procedures like in vitro fertilization (IVF) in order to conceive.
5. You Can Have Difficulty with Your Sex Life
Between prolonged bleeding, cramping, soreness and fatigue, it’s easy to see why some girls with unstable periods just aren’t interested in sex! This can put a strain on relationships and be frustrating for both parties involved.
6. You Feel Embarrassed
Whether it because of accidental “leakage” through your brand new skirt or having to explain to friends why you don’t feel like a girl’s night out, irregular periods can be embarrassing for the girls who suffer from them.
7. You Can Have Mood Swings
With your hormones out of balance and constantly in flux, mood swings, emotional instability and feeling irritated all the time can easily become a part of life. The good news? If the hormones get back into balance, these emotional problems will frequently go away on their own.
8. You Can Have a Period Problem due to Underlying Health Issues
Unstable periods can mask underlying health problems like disorder of the thyroid, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or fibroid cysts or polyps in the uterus. That is why it is important to go to the doctor to talk about these irregular periods: if the underlying condition can be addressed, often the periods will become more stable.
9. You Can Have Difficulty Treating the Issue
Some girls can find it difficult to treat this issue. Mainstream options include use of birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) if you have a condition like primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) but these treatments, too, have side effects and some girls respond to them better than others.
10. You Can Seek Natural/Alternative Treatments
Many girls seek to manage their unstable period in natural ways rather than using prescription medications. One popular way to do this is with herbs like blue cohosh, asafetida and chasteberry. Some girls will also use alternative treatments like acupuncture for relief.
11. You Need to Manage Your Stress
Stress can have a big effect on unstable periods: stress releases a hormone called cortisol, which in turn can have an effect on levels of progesterone and estrogen, which are what help control the menstrual cycle. Stress relief techniques like yoga, meditation or long walks can be very beneficial.
12. You Can Have Many Symptoms
It’s not just about the period itself! You can have many other uncomfortable symptoms from an unstable period, including the fatigue and emotional problems already mentioned plus other annoying issues like abdominal bloating or constipation.
13. You Are at Greater Risk for Anemia
If your periods are prolonged and/or heavy, your body might not be able to make red blood cells as fast as you are losing them – and this can result in iron deficiency anemia, which can become a serious problem if it is left untreated.
So if you are a 28-day girl, thank your lucky stars! But also be sure to be understanding of girls who have to deal with the issues surrounding an unstable period.